- The jammed parking lot and the lines of cars parked up and down Prospect and North Main Streets Saturday night were proof that the organizers of two much loved and appreciated local charities were definitely on the right track in combing their fundraising efforts. Supporters of Have a Heart Community Trust and the Paul Koster
Memorial Scholarship Fund filled the one time farm house which had been converted beautifully last year by Jean Mackenzie Koster
into Four Seasons
Catering, a warm and quintessentially
Hamptons party venue.
Event organizers William Wrights and Jean Mackenzie.
From the outset, it was abundantly clear that the fun filled evening was a true community event. Guests were greeted warmly by waiters in black tie at the front door where Four Seasons Catering Manager Linda Marie Paul
welcomed the revelers with open arms and a warm smile. Inside well known East End artist the affable Paton Miller
was cheerily manning the raffle tickets table selling ducats for the Chinese Auction, a special series of travel packages and the always popular 50/50 raffle.
The Chinese Auction tables in the side room were loaded with goodies ranging from landscape paintings to a tote bag and gift certificate from J. McLaughlin
to dinners at area eateries such as Southampton Publick House
. All this and much more had the crowd hovering over the tables to drop their - hopefully - prize-winning tickets into the colorful bags.
But the big draw for the night was the casino tables that filled several of the rooms. Black Jack, Craps and Roulette tables were manned by professional croupiers who were gracious and patient even with the novice gamblers. The $60 ticket price - a real bargain - included hors d'oeuvres, open bar, a lavish buffet, music, dancing and $100 in chips! Black Jack seemed to be the most popular but there was plenty of action at the slot machines as well where jeweler Jan Rose
happily pulled the levers.
Artist Paton Miller manned the raffle table.
In the main dining room, guests were greeted with a half dozen enormous banquet tables offering carving stations of filet mignon, roast turkey and country ham and biscuits. Another featured a raw bar of seafood delicacies for which Mackenzie's' other business The Clam Man is famed throughout the East End. Two tuxedo clad oyster shuckers
were kept busy all night filling the ice laden serving station with the plump bivalves for guests to quickly slurp up.
As the evening was unseasonably warm many of the attendees spilled out to the patio overlooking the gracious gardens. Mingling on the terrace were Peggy Bousson
, Southampton Village Trustee Bonnie Cannon
and John Wynne
and dozens more. Bousson termed the evening "the best deal in town - Where could you go and have dinner, drinks, music and dancing for the price? And you get to help two of our most important local charities who do such valuable work in the community."
Author Bob Zellner and wife Linda enjoy the evening.
The mission of Have a Heart Community Trust founded by Southamptonites Rose
and John Dios
is to provide direct relief to East End residents in times of individual and/or family crisis. While the fund has grown over the years, so has the need for help grown dramatically? Have a Heart is a veritable lifeline for a number of organizations that assist those in times of need including such vital groups as Human Resources of the Hamptons
, the food pantries of East Hampton, Springs, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, Hampton Bays, Westhampton and Montauk and the Southampton Child Care Center
The Paul Koster Memorial Fund was founded to honor the late Paul Koster
, owner of The Clamman, and is devoted to helping people in the community achieve success in reaching their goals of furthering their education by assisting select organizations and community service programs, as well as awarding scholarships to High School graduates.
Commenting on the collaboration of the two organizations, Have a Heart president and trustee William Wright
said, "During these unprecedented times, never before has it been so important for Have a Heart to raise money. We figured with the state of the economy we should partner up with PKM. It is a great way for us to raise awareness about both charities! In the past we would have our events around the same time. In our eyes there was no need for this, we figured let's join forces and make this one, great huge event and split the money. I think it is a great way to continue to raise money in this tough economic environment!"
Also on hand to congratulate the organizers was Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley
who went around the room to personally thank all the volunteers for their hard work and compassion for their neighbors.
Celebrating the onset of Spring were Kevin Maple
, Geraldine Hull
, Gordon Herr
and hundreds more.